GlitzQueen Antique and Vintage Jewelry
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Cufflinks and Accessories : Silver : Pre 1910 item #1348310
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$95
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I'm very partial to 2-tone jewelry, because it can be worn well with both white and yellow metals -- and, besides the versatility, there's a look of pure opulence. But these remarkable cufflinks would meet anybody's definition of splendid, even without their gilded edges and reverses.

Helping us date these treasures is the fact that their maker, the HWK Company, opened in 1905 and had closed by the 1920s. They were among the style leaders in Providence, RI, then a major jewelry center. Their cufflinks, some with their Talon Grip brand, often incorporated intricate white gold tops fashioned by the Belais brothers in Manhattan. That influence is strongly apparent here in the elaborate engraving of popular motifs including Celtic symbols and natural shapes evocative of sunrises and rainbows. They simply couldn't be more Arts & Crafts in design, or more characteristic of an Edwardian style-setter's taste.

In the absence of markings, I'd say the white metal is most likely chromium or rhodium, both hard-wearing cousins of platinum, which also don't tarnish. Because the tops aren't actually made of that famed Belais gold, here's a wonderful opportunity to pick up a really luxurious-looking pair of cufflinks for about half what you'd expect to pay. Size is about 3/4" x 1/2" and provenance is a Missouri estate.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1900 item #1348277
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The Art Nouveau setting of this exquisite antique ring dates it to the 1890s, when French scientist Louis Bouton began cultivating blister pearls -- each of which took about two years to develop. The remarkable gems soon charmed jewelry designers on the prowl for something new, but the later and simpler Arts and Crafts style had taken hold by the time there was a reliable supply of pearls. Thus, this elaborate mounting is highly unusual. Here graceful scallops and fronds ornament the ring's shoulders and the bezel's frilly outer frame. The stone's a marvel, too: almost an inch tall and wonderfully luminous and vivid, dominated by coral, rose and sea green.

Signed simply Sterling, so probably of American origin, the jewel is undoubtedly hand-crafted. Current size is a U.S. 4.5 - 5, easily changed since the back of the shank is undecorated. Provenance is a West Coast estate and there are no condition issues of note. (A prior resizing mark could be smoothed away in a jiffy and, like most old sterling bands, this needs tapping back into round, which any good jeweler can do in about 30 seconds.)

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1492 item #1346911
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$235
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Do you have a hero? Maybe this is for him -- or her. It's a treasure perfect for your most valued mentor, most loyal friend or even your Knight in Shining Armor.

Our splendid sword chape fashioned in England soon after the Norman Conquest dates from the 12th or 13th century (between 1100 and 1299), so it may well have seen a Crusade or two. It has a particularly elegant form and the bronze metal has developed a lovely dark green patination all over.

It reached us through a leading antiquities dealer in Cambridgeshire and, in nearby Suffolk, we found these wonderful handcrafted beads with an ancient look, rustic and licked by flame. Then we strung everything together on a leather thong to create a real swashbuckler of a pendant! It's particularly great with a turtleneck (his or hers) -- and a museum-worthy display piece when not being worn. Size is about 2 1/4" by 1 1/8".

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Costume : Rhinestone : Pre 1930 item #1338425
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$145
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Most Suffragette jewelry has a stately quality. It tends to be substantial, the better to make its statement at a rally or on the march, atop outerwear. This bijou, by contrast, is on the large side (about 2.5" x 1.5") but it's clearly a party piece.

Such a dazzling confection of diamantes with a bold emerald paste center and dancing drops tipped with faux amethysts may well have been made for celebrations after the vote came through (1920 for all women in the US and 1918 for many in the UK, 1928 for the rest). Alternatively, given its whirling form and shimmering materials, it could refer to Halley's comet, which inspired a lot of jewelry when it appeared in 1910, the last year of the Edwardian era. The design of the brooch could be characterized as transitional or early Deco, but it makes an emphatic nod to Edwardiana in those drops of staggered length. Asymettrical drops were characteristic of Edwardian necklaces known as "negligee" style (nothing to do with nightwear). Still, I'm persuaded by other details of fabrication that 1920 is more probable than 1910.

Provenance is a California estate and condition is, as you see, lovely. Great condition is more common than not for Suffragette pieces, since most saw only short-term use before becoming treasured keepsakes.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Modernist : Pre 1940 item #1338378
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$165
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A host of objects evoke eras and they're delightful, but when an item evokes a particular moment in history, it's incredibly exciting to me. It's like a time machine! Climb aboard this early modernist brooch and you're in 1930 -- or at least the immediate neighborhood. Stylized feather and fern leaf brooches were the latest and greatest -- done up in platinum and diamonds by the likes of Suzanne Belperron, whose work is well-chronicled and deserves to be, but also produced for ordinary mortals with far more adventurous taste than cash to indulge it.

For the example here, our dating comes not only from records kept in the halls of grandeur, but also from plain history open to all. Look at the colors of these stones -- green, white and violet, as in "Give Women the Vote" -- and remember that it was in 1928 when the last group of Englishwomen (those without property) were enfranchised. This achievement remained a big cause for celebration as the decade turned -- particularly since there wasn't a whole lot to be celebrating immediately after the Crash of '29.

Now please join me in picturing the first owner of this brooch: a highly modern miss, indeed, and a Suffragette surely. A persistent Suffragette, since voting was fait accompli for most women soon after World War I. That's why Suffragette jewelry nearly always looks Victorian, Edwardian, transitional or Early Deco. And that's what makes this piece very special.

Of course it's also special for being just wonderful. A towering plume or assemblage of fronds (whichever you see) -- more than 3 1/4 inches tall -- it gleams like new, so the metal must be rhodium or chromium (hard-wearing cousins of platinum, albeit far cheaper). The graceful mounting is set with three green and white tigers' eyes that could almost pass for real, plus three faceted amethyst pastes. Weight is 10.3 grams (51.5 carats) and provenance is a Midwestern estate.

That the brooch is in fantastic condition isn't really surprising, since Suffragette jewels were generally tucked away fondly after a few years' use. The color scheme doesn't exactly go with everything -- but what a lot of fun somebody's going to have with this!

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Costume : Designer : Pre 1970 item #1338369
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$75
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Freirich jewels have been highly prized for their quality since 1900, when the company began as a private supplier to leading couturiers, producing beautifully hand-made buttons and other dress ornaments for the likes of Dior and Chanel, as well as millinery.

First known as Maison David, the firm retained that name in France after its 1922 acquisition by Solomon Freirich, whose name was used in the U.S. No branded Freirich line was available directly to the public until the 1960s, though, when some of the world's finest stores were thrilled to stock it. Everything continued to be handcrafted until the company closed in 1990, a victim of today's lower standards.

This stunning brooch appears to be one of the earliest marked pieces, based on its design: The gorgeous glass stone impersonating carved carnelian presents an elegant spin on the "Flower Power" era's happy-posies motif. My first jewels in childhood were of that style, also worn by my very fashionable mother. At 2 inches round, the brooch fills my palm, and it's substantial: 18.8 grams or 94 carats. It reached us from a Northwestern estate in exquisite condition, as you can see. Its back, BTW, is entirely of filigree, which is very unusual for jewelry made after 1930. I'll add a photo of the lovely reverse before long.

In my opinion, exceptional Freirich pieces -- the ones that truly demonstrate their artistry and skill -- will be ardently collected soon. Since marked items don't exist in great number, having been sold for only three decades, the prices have a lot of room to rise. Also keep in mind that goods made in 1960 will graduate from vintage to antique status in 2035, by America's 75-year reckoning.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Retro : Pre 1940 item #1323602
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$185
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Bands in this "crossover" style were introduced near the start of the Edwardian era, but the graceful form stayed in favor for decades, so they're often difficult to date; however, the use of 10k gold here makes 1930s origin most likely for this ultra-feminine beauty from a New York estate. That the tourmaline and diamonds are laboratory versions actually points less to the Depression years, since good synthetics were widely used even in very expensive jewelry during the Art Deco boom years. Synthetics aren't "fakes" like glass; they're engineered to duplicate the chemical properties of natural stones so faithfully that even expert jewelers must perform sophisticated tests to identify them.

Although already antique by American 75-year standards and close to the European century mark, this lovely ring can't have been worn much. The stones are pristine; I can't find a scuff on them, and high magnification is required to notice even slight surface wear to the gold. It really couldn't be more giftable. Current size is US 6.25 - 6.75, easily altered to your needs, since the back of the shank is unadorned. We state sizes as a range, because different types of measuring equipment vary up to half a size, as do our fingers with temperature and time of day.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Period : Pre 1930 item #1323160
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$145
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Hmong jewelry has commercialized so quickly that the word "antique" is applied to pieces from the 1950s. Those are highly regarded and their increasing scarcity is rightly lamented. These earrings, however, are much older -- dating from the early 20th century or perhaps late in the 19th.

A glance at the hand-drawn wires tells you these have real age. So does the style, which isn't from the limited menu of traditional designs being reproduced today, usually in simplified versions. Here we have intricate, multi-part construction; repousse work and even a bevy of bouncing charms. This is also great silver: the kind Hmong silversmiths used to get by melting old French coins and now can only dream of.

As you'll know if you collect in this genre, silver symbolizes not only prosperity to the Hmong people, but the essence of a good life. That's why the enormous heirloom crowns passed down from mother to daughter are as exuberant as the festival occasions when they're worn. Jewels also serve the Hmong as amulets. This arrow shape, for instance -- the upper triangle -- points upward to ensure a favorable flow of cosmic forces, so they say. And who am I to argue?

From the collection of a world traveler who got to Laos before the antique supply grew terribly sparse, these treasures measure about 1 3/4" by 3/4" (not counting the wires) and have a satisfying heft: 13 grams.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Ethnic : Pre 1960 item #1322995
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$120
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These aren't mere "statement" earrings -- they're a manifesto! Besides their mind-blowing appearance, they even chime softly with each motion. I've seen a lot of great earrings in my time, but none more dramatic than this pair.

Obviously tribal creations made in the Middle East or South Asia, they were sold to us as Kuchi items from Baluchistan, which is between Persia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Again according to the seller, the earrings came here when her family immigrated in the mid-20th century. They could be considerably older than that, based on the wear shown by their silvered surfaces. Glimpses of underlying brass produce a subtle two-tone effect, which adds depth and interest -- and also lets them mix prettily with whatever jewelry you're wearing, whether silver or gold.

When they reached us, the long drops hung from earwires, which would have been painful and perilous in use. For large earrings, clip fasteners are kindest to the earlobes, but a lot of people hate them, so I cannibalized some other vintage earrings to get these silver metal discs backed with posts. They're reasonably comfortable to wear this way, being a little lighter than you'd expect.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Costume : Rhinestone : Pre 1980 item #1321423
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$75
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In mint condition, never worn, this fabulous vintage Bijoux Cascio brooch comes from old store stock found in New York. It's a whopper, measuring just under 3 x 2 inches. The size would be more precise in centimeters, given that it comes from Europe. The company was established in Italy during 1948 and lasted about 40 years, accessorizing famous designer lines including Pucci and Capucci.

This particular jewel was introduced in 1968, when people had begun collecting old carousel horses and fancy equine motifs were all the rage. Shimmering black and green enamelwork sets a most dramatic mood here, accentuated by exceptionally brilliant gold plating and sparkling Swarovski crystals of tourmaline pink, topaz blue and peridot green, plus a clear diamante eye. With this mix of colors, it goes beautifully with almost anything. Highly sculptural, the piece rises more than half an inch above the back. There's an abundance of textural interest, too. It's no wonder that this fabulous design became a book piece, featured in "Jewels of Fantasy: Costume Jewelry of the 20th Century".

Obviously, its like-new condition makes this beauty highly giftable. From the company's Garden Party Collection, it bears the Bijoux Casio mark on its richly gilded reverse, in an oval cartouche.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Costume : Unsigned : Pre 1940 item #1321422
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The subtle blue hues of these artfully clustered shells range from water-pale to dusky cobalt and they seem to encircle the neck by magic, being suspended on a paperclip chain of transparent celluloid. The shells, BTW, are as intricately textured as real ones -- a delight to the touch, as well as the eye.

Besides being easy to admire, this necklace is easy to wear -- light as a feather -- and in amazing condition, given its age (circa 1930-1940) and the delicacy of celluloid. The only fault we've found are teensy pinholes at the backs of some shells, which are hard to notice and may have been integral to the process of fabricating such intricate shapes. Its length is 16.5 inches and it reached us from a West Coast estate.

This is a particularly good time to add a celluloid necklace to your collection, since formerly crazy prices have taken a pause. As you may remember, attractive examples were selling a few years ago for $300 to $600. Here's a fabulous deal made even better by our present sale price.

There's no charge for insured U.S. delivery, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and beautiful gift-wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Deco : Pre 1930 item #1321356
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$850
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This breathtaking antique white gold watch from a Miami estate is an excellent example of why the Belais Brothers' work is so esteemed. For spectacular design, refined craftsmanship and the excellence of their patented white gold, they surpassed all others in the late 19th and early 20th century. Notice the rich detail of the case. Not just the front but also the sides and back are intricately ornamented.

This watch would be gorgeous, even without its vivid sapphire accents. With their added opulence, it's dynamite. The stones may be natural or, more likely, the Verneuil synthetics which appeared often in fine jewelry of this era. The laboratory-produced stones aren't "fakes" like glass; they chemically reproduce real gems so well that even jewelers must test them. Here the brilliant stones are cut in fancy shapes and the hands on the watch are sapphire blue, too, as are the beautifully enameled numerals.

The case measures 16mm wide and 44mm from lug to lug and bears the initials of the original owner, CDC, on reverse. It contains a movement marked Perla Watch Co, which has 17 jewels and 2 adjustments, and was recently overhauled. Though the watch is in running condition now, we can't promise that a little tweaking won't be needed on arrival. Of course we'll pack with utmost care, but antique watches are temperamental about transport.

The jeweled filigree bracelet, a glorious color match, is marked "Bates & B" for Bates and Bacon. Based in Attleborough, MA, the company operated from 1856 through the 1930s and was known for producing excellent gold and gold-filled jewelry. Other marks present are the brand-name "Clasper" and "Pat'd. 2-7-22". We didn't find a stamp for metal content, but slight surface wear suggests it's gold-filled. It doesn't have the hard white sheen of rhodium plating, nor the tarnish you'd expect of silver. The four sapphire blue stones here show some wear under high magnification, so are probably Czech crystals, but their dainty size makes them persuasive pretenders. The bracelet, which will unhook at either end, can be easily shortened from its present length of 6 inches. I expect a good jeweler could also find a way to lengthen it, if needed.

Both watch and bracelet date from early in the Art Deco era, based on the Edwardian delicacy of the filigree and engraving. The bracelet, like the watch, is beautifully detailed on the back and edges, as well as the front. Though they didn't begin life together, they certainly should move forward that way. It's lucky they found each other, and we feel lucky to offer the result -- which is part of a lovely estate collection of fine jewelry that's been consigned to us.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Deco : Pre 1930 item #1321345
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$140
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Just in from a Colorado estate, this antique brooch couldn't be a more timely find, since rose quartz has been declared the "it" color for 2016. Personally, I find that shade of pink ravishing, no matter what style mavens may say at the moment, and it certainly flatters every complexion.

The quality of this jewel is ravishing, too. It has a nice heft (10.8 grams, 54.5 ct) and measures about 2" x 3/4" -- of which the large, highly domed gem, bezel-set with fine beading, comprises 7/8" x 1/2". We can't find any loss of finish to persuade us that the metal is plated, so it may well be unmarked gold. Both 9-10k and gold-filled pieces generally test the same, so we don't like scarring jewels with files and test acids, in hope that they'll test at 14k or higher. Whether gold or gold-filled, this beauty will wear like a champ, because the gold-fill process applies such a heavy sandwich of gold around the underlying metal that it's terrifically hard to erode.

Besides styling it in the usual ways, you could enjoy this a marvelous barette or accent on a purse, hatband or headband.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Cufflinks and Accessories : Gold : Pre 1920 item #1321335
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$115
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Recently named fashion's favorite color for spring, rose quartz is showing up in all the best places. Here that ravishing shade of pink is seen in two giant oval cabochons of faux-moonstone, adorning the sort of jewel worn by those Viennese beauties Klimt painted in the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The full opulence of that golden era is captured in this Czech buckle, because it dates from the earliest years of Czechoslovian independence. Marked Czechoslov, it can’t be older than 1918, but I doubt it’s much younger. The style is totally Belle Epoque: ornately detailed with Art Nouveau scrollwork, rope twists and millegrain accents, then gilded very richly. This looks like 22 karat at least. On the reverses, untouched by time's patina, the gilding is almost blinding. If you like, a good jeweler could restore much of that original brilliance to the front surfaces and brighten the tiny areas on the collets where gold has worn away -- not that any work really needs to be done. As it is, this magnificent piece is sure to charm everyone.

Fastened, the buckle measures 3 inches by 1 1/4, and its brackets will hold a belt or sash up to 3/4 of an inch wide, or wider if gathered.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Victorian : Pre 1910 item #1321308
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$175
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If not the most opulent little bar brooch I've ever seen, this ranks among the top candidates. At a glance, it's all purest elegance, but as you move closer, the details start to fizz. The openwork is not only like lace, but patterned in graceful shapes that are perfectly harmonious yet unpredictable. And the twin garlands flanking the gem aren't just nicely textured but utterly paved with sparkling granulation. The round, bezel-set citrine -- a joyful shade of honey-yellow -- is prettily faceted in what appears to be an old European cut.

An excellent early safety clasp is present and appears original, which dates the jewel toward the end of the bar brooch era: circa 1900. It's signed "C" within a diamond-shape on its catch -- a mark we haven't yet been able to identify -- and hallmarked 10k on its pinstem, which was shortened at some time from its dangerous original length, as usually happened after ladies gave up wearing layers of fierce underclothing.

Pictures really can't do justice to this dainty treasure, which is in superb condition, measures 2 ¼" X ¼" and weighs 2.9 grams (14.5 ct). Its price represents an extraordinary value: Elsewhere online, sellers are asking more for similar pins set with glass. Provenance is an East Coast estate and probable origin would be American, since European gold marking is usually more complicated.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Period : Pre 1980 item #1320905
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$140
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These spectacular artisanal earrings from a California collection are set with real amethyst, rose quartz and onyx. They aren't costume jewelry by any means, even though the creator chose to work with a softer metal than silver or gold. Brass is just perfect for these gracefully sculpted floral and fan shapes, plus the layers of light, bright feathers that swirl around them to shoulder-skimming lengths.

If you love jewelry with a show-stopping, eye-popping, extravagant look, you've found your new favorite earrings here. Without a doubt, they're one of a kind, since the prior owner recalls purchasing them from a jewelry artist at Moro Bay. That was long ago, sometime in the 1960s or 1970s, but their condition remains superb. They've been looked after beautifully. Fasteners are clips, the only comfortable way to wear earrings this large.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Other Metals : Modernist : Pre 1950 item #1320850
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$90
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Make an entrance wearing these and you'll exit knowing everybody noticed!

Obviously, these are among the most dramatic of earrings, featuring Juliet on her balcony as Romeo kneels below. The figures and their ornate frames are of gold-tone metal, richly complementing the background of deep red enamel (or perhaps celluloid). The stylization of form is pure 1940s -- evoking Boucher's Parisina line of dancers and skaters produced during World War II – and the fasteners are clips, as is right for the period. Size is a substantial 1.25 inches round and provenance is a West Coast estate. The quality is so good that I'm very surprised not to find a maker mark.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Pre Victorian : Pre 1800 item #1319453
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$295
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When we had a brooch of this type a few years ago, I was bowled over by its massive size. Amazingly, here's one about TWICE as big and in even better shape. It measures well over 2 3/4 inches in diameter, with a dome rising more than 1 1/4 inches.

This fascinating form was developed in the Netherlands, where 18th century residents of Zeeland wore it as part of their regional costume. It retains the old T-hinge and open C clasp indicative of great age, as well as the extremely substantial pinstem we associate with Georgian times. The only departure from original condition is that the pinstem, which would have been extra-long, was at some point shortened (a good idea, since they're dangerous now that we don't wear corsets and other layers of heavy underclothing).

The metal is almost certainly 835 silver (the old Dutch sterling standard), although we haven't spotted a mark. Given the fragility of the material, it's truly remarkable that even the repousse beads show almost no dimpling.

This is a truly spectacular conversation-piece item of a sort seldom seen outside Europe and it isn't as heavy to wear as you'd think, because there's so much openwork. It reached us from the estate of a New Yorker who lived past 90. The brooch would have been antique, of course, long before she purchased or inherited it.

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